Accommodating religious beliefs in the workplace

Human rights legislation exists in each jurisdiction that protects individuals from discrimination in employment.Specifically, employers are prohibited from discriminating against potential or current employees on certain grounds, including race, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, and disability.And, unlike other protected traits, religion sometimes requires particular behavior while adherents are at work, such as prayer; observing certain holidays; wearing specified items, types of clothing, or hair styles; or professing one's faith to others.

Allowing employees to wear religious head coverings at work is recognized by the EEOC as a “common religious accommodation.” (see “What You Should Know About Workplace Accommodation.”) It is important to note, however, that employers need not make the same or similar accommodations for other employees expressing nonreligious preferences.

https://gov/policy/docs/best_practices_Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, What You Should Know About Workplace Accommodation.

Recent events at York University have brought the complex and evolving discussion about the duty to accommodate religious beliefs into the national spotlight.

The new House rule permits an exception for religious head coverings only, leaving the original ban on head coverings in place.

Therefore, members of Congress may not properly claim that they must be allowed to sport baseball caps because others are permitted religious head dress.

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